For a long time Congress tried to control campaign spending with the McCain-Feingold bill. Despite McCain's push, Republicans were against controlling campaign spending. They said they would prefer preventing corruption through proper disclosure.
This Republican position lasted until the Supreme Court made the Citizens United decision that opened up the floodgates of money. Since Republicans can now get oodles of campaign money from the super-rich, the vast majority of whom are Republicans, they are very much in favor of money as "free speech."
You'd think that since they can now access hundreds of millions of dollars, so Republican "free speech" drowns out Democratic "free speech," they would be satisfied. Not at all. Republicans want more. They want to keep secret who gives what. Why, you ask? So Republican donors are not intimidated:
"During their long campaign to loosen rules on campaign money, conservatives argued that there was a simpler way to prevent corruption: transparency. Get rid of limits on contributions and spending, they said, but make sure voters know where the money is coming from.
"Today, with those fundraising restrictions largely removed, many conservatives have changed their tune. They now say disclosure could be an enemy of free speech.
"High-profile donors could face bullying and harassment from liberals out to 'muzzle' their opponents, Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a recent speech.
"Corporations could be subject to boycotts and pickets, warned the Wall Street Journal editorial page this spring.
"Democrats 'want to intimidate people into not giving to these conservative efforts,' said Republican strategist Karl Rove on Fox News. 'I think it's shameful.'"
Get it? Billionaires are worried about being "muzzled" by the hoi polloi. This means that they would not be able to exercise their "free speech." I'm wondering what instrument the poor can use to do this? I'm wondering, too, how billionaires will respond to this "muzzling." Is it possible they will do their own "muzzling" with the solid cash they have handy?
Corporations, who Romney has labeled "people," are concerned that they would be subject to boycotts and pickets. According to the Wall Street Journal, this is terrible. I'm wondering if it is worse than firing workers and sending their jobs overseas - as Republican Romney has done?
Karl Rove, the guy who has spent his career intimidating Democrats, thinks it's "shameful" to intimidate conservatives. He thinks that's what Democrats would do if they knew who the Republican donors were. Karl Rove believes that only Republicans should possess the intimidation stick.
The billionaires are not satisfied that they can wield their money stick to buy elections. They also don't want us to know who is giving the money. The reason has nothing to do with "muzzling," "boycotts" or "intimidation." They don't want us to know because they do not believe in free speech. They want control over our economy and our government so they can become richer and more powerful. A little "sunshine" may give ordinary Americans a fighting chance to restore free speech.